"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Two month flurry of pages read-I

I won't ever eat octopus again. 
Actually I've only recently tasted it, but after reading the Soul of an Octopus, sent by my friend and former student  Lauren Vargas of Boston, I discovered a new world of intelligence. Editor that I am, I discovered one small error in it. The author refers to a boat going so many "knots per hour." Ahem. knots are nautical miles per hour. But this is a book of discovery about life on this planet. Some things should not be human food.
That book was one of ten I've completed, two sampled and one half finished in the last two months, bringing my total read so far this year to 13 plus-surpassing my goal of one a month.
I usually read and write reviews of these, but blogging has been blocked, but books have not since early April.
I'm not inclined to comment much on each of these, but you'll note all but three are non fiction, and one of the others is poetry.
Coyote America, Dan Flores, "a natural and supernatural history." If you're a Westerner, you know coyotes, but there's more information here than you ever imagined. They're the oldest deity figure in the Americas. they originated in America. They now inhabit all major cities east to west. In spite of man's best efforts, you can't wipe them out. In fact, we're responsible for them spreading everywhere. Lots of science and history here, plus a naturalist's viewpoint.
One Man's Wilderness-An Alaskan Odyssey. Sam Keith/Richard Proenneke. From the journals of a man who built his own cabin with handtools, telling how he built it a step at a time. He  lived alone in the Alaskan wilderness beginning in the late 60s. With his color photographs. He died in his 80s in 2003.
The Highwayman, Craig Johnson. A Longmire novel, set in the Wind River canyon in Wyoming, a ghost story involving highway tunnels. Shorter than most, also. A two-day read. You can look the setting up on Google maps.
The Great Spring. Natalie Goldberg of Writing Down the Bones fame (I have a signed first edition). Lives in New Mexico, a follower of Zen, teaches writing. This is one of those books I like because I can skip around and read the chapters I want first.  About writing, living, and more.
Woe to the Land Shadowing. Red Shuttleworth of Washington State. Won the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Wrangler Award for poetry this year. I got to meet him and he signed it. It's my annual tradition to buy these books of Western poetry. He and his wife are real westerners, but this book stretches the mind with his sparse views of life in the modern west. 


  1. I am on the waiting list now for the Longmire book and placed orders for the poetry ( I have to keep and write notes in books of poetry) and the Alaskan book ( I have to buy it when I can get a used copy for 11 cents)

    You are a good reader, among your many other tslents and skills.

  2. I thought I was do well by reading a handful of books since graduation, but I see I am WAY behind your page count!